When this movie started, I felt like it was going to be a cheesy version of the Star Wars franchise. It builds slowly, the acting is mediocre, and there is a comic book feel. Then Han Solo and Chewbacca appear and in the words of Harrison Ford, I felt like I was home again.
From this point on the movie picked up its pace and I began to feel the tension I remember from the Star Wars film of 1977. By the end, this film had redeemed itself in my eyes, and the last scene with Mark Hamill was perfect.
While this is one of the best episodes since the first film, it did have its weak points. The character of Kylo Ren felt like a cheap version of Darth Vader. His helmet was not menacing, I wasn’t sure if he was going to reach for a light sabre or a welding torch.
The scene where Rey is fighting Kylo and tunes into The Force, had a Disney feel to it. As a matter of fact, in one of the scenes where the Resistance fighters are getting ready, one of the characters that goes by looked just like Happy, one of the seven dwarfs.
Another funny flaw was when Rey lands for the first time at the base, two pilots go running by as if heading for a fighter. But as the camera pulls back they run past the last plane and it looks like they are just going to run off into the sunset.
In spite of all that, this film was able to take me back in time and make me feel like it was 1977 once again.
This one gets four cigars!